The Real Deal
Yesterday, while I was in Nashville, I stopped at Sportsman's Grille for lunch. After looking over the menu, I decided to go with something beef-related. Although I thought about getting a cheeseburger, my fascination with the Philly Cheesesteak directed my choice to that.
In my experience in eating cheesesteaks, I always wondered how restaurants made them. Some places emphasize either the meat or the cheese, while others make them like hoagies by adding lettuce, tomato and mayo. One of my favorite restaurants, Memphis' Side Street Grill, prepares the meat for its version by cutting up a steak into bite-size chunks rather than slices, which is the traditional way to do it. At Sportsman's Grille, it's done the right way, with a half-pound of sliced steak covered with sautéed onions and red and green peppers, and it was impressive.
The best part of Sportsman's Philly is the meat. The meat is chopped into tiny slices (to the point that I initially assumed was ground chuck), making it very easy to chew. Also, the seasoning and/or marinade added a nice flavor without making it salty or dry. In my opinion, the quality of the meat was on par with steaks that I've had at several upscale restaurants, which can't be said of most of the other places that I've eaten at. If Sportsman's put this much quality into its cheesesteak sandwiches, I'm confident that I'll be blown away by its steaks and burgers.
To complement the meat, the sandwich is benefited with a generous amount of Swiss cheese (not the typical type of cheese used in cheesesteaks) and red and green peppers and onions that are sautéed perfectly, enhancing the sandwich's delicious steak meat. The sandwich comes with a side of french fries that I wasn't too thrilled about because they seemed overcooked, but overall, the entire meal was great.
At $10.50, the Sportsman's Philly Cheesesteak is a little pricier than average, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. In this case, you'll get a nearly authentic Philly that I believe could hold its own with some of the best delis in Philadelphia. Definitely worth getting.
The Bacon Cheeseburger
I recently (12/28/10) had the Bacon Cheeseburger, and it was pretty good. The ⅓ lb. beef patty tasted like it was marinated in Worcestershire sauce, and it was topped with a thick layer of American cheese and Applewood bacon. The burger, along with fries, can more than satisfy the appetite, and while this burger stops just short of cracking my Top 5 list, it is a well-prepared and delicious burger that I highly recommend.